What's on Tap

What's on Tap

A day in the life of Top of the Hill owner Scott Maitland

Posted February 2, 2015

Top of the Hill and TOPO Distillery owner Scott Maitland (Photography by Briana Brough/Chapel Hill Magazine)

— We shot Scott Maitland, owner of Top of the Hill and TOPO Distillery, a quick email: “It seems like you never sleep. What’s a typical day like?”

“I had to laugh when I read that,” he responded, “because actually today pretty much sums up my life.”

So, here was Scott’s itinerary that Thursday.

5:45 a.m. Up with 3-year-old son (daughter sleeps in until 6:10); “I treasure our morning time.”

8 a.m. Chamber of Commerce Board Meeting

10 a.m. Daily check-in/operations meeting with distillers at TOPO Distillery

10:30 a.m. Meeting interrupted by guy from Asheville hawking his spring water for the distillery. Which means it’s time to taste some water samples out of buckets!  

11:30 a.m. TOPO marketing meeting to discuss International Wine, Spirits and Beer Festival in Chicago • Noon Marketing meeting gets interrupted by the HVAC repairman. “So we’ve got to get up on the roof in pouring down rain to look at the units.”

12:30 p.m. Meeting with representative of startup that has created a Pandoraesque consumer-driven music system for restaurants. They want Top of the Hill to be a beta site.

1:30 p.m. Meeting with insurance agent

2:30 p.m. Meeting with banker

3:30 p.m. Carves out 90 minutes to prepare for teaching an entrepreneurship class at the N.C. School of Science and Math

6:15 p.m. Arrives in Durham to teach said class  

8 p.m. Back home to tuck kids into bed

9 p.m. Maybe play a little guitar – he’s recently taken it up and found it a good antidote to insomnia. Well that, and a slice of the fruits of his labor.

“Today was a distillery day,” Scott says. “There are many other days where we focus more on the restaurant. We held an all-staff meeting yesterday, in fact. The challenge is trying to balance work and family and all these things. It’s a lot, but I'm having a good time. The good news is I can have a drink at the end of the day, and it doesn't cost me anything.” 

Editor's note: The Great Room at Top of the Hill in downtown Chapel Hill will host a Valentine’s Day Indoor Tailgate on Feb. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy a winter lunch buffet with TOPO beer and liquor tastings. Tickets include bloody marys and mimosas. (The cash bar will be open as well.) Watch UNC men’s basketball take on Pitt on the big screen. There will also be Videri chocolate, Chapel Hill Toffee, a Sweetie Pie Jewelry trunk show, flowers, complimentary copies of the brand new issue of Southern Bride & Groom, a Top of the Hill gift basket giveaway and more. This event is perfect for couples or groups of friends! It’s part of the Taste event series. Tickets are $95 per couple or $50 per person and are available at Taste 2015's website. A portion of proceeds will go to the Durham Branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern N.C. 


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